Celly: A prisoner’s cellmate.
Chicken coup: Protective custody. An inmate can check himself into the chicken coup if he feels threatened by other inmates.
Chow: (1) A meal. (2) The prison cafeteria.
Commissary: (1) Where inmates buy food and personal supplies—kind of like a general store. (2) Food purchased by inmates.
Count: A time when all inmates are counted. In Gideon’s prison, inmates are counted three times per day to ensure no one has escaped.
House: An inmate’s cell.
Monkey washer: A gang leader.
Shipped: When an inmate gets transferred to another prison.
Stinger: A homemade device (usually from the electrical components of a lamp or other small appliance) used to make whiskey in prison.
Store: Commissary items an inmate sells for profit.
Shakedown: An extensive search by guards, often resulting in items being strewn about an inmate’s cell.
The hole: Solitary confinement. Prisoners are often put in a room by themselves for days or weeks at a time because of bad behavior.
The yard: An area where inmates can go outside to exercise or get fresh air.